Michael Phelps trying new things, but still yearns to win

Michael Phelps speaks to the media after his training session ahead of the Arena Grand Prix at Charlotte at Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Michael Phelps is trying some new things: A more relaxed approach. A lighter workload. A willingness to accept that things aren’t going to be perfect every day.

He insists that one thing hasn’t changed at all.

His desire to win.

Phelps is preparing for the second meet in his comeback, entering two events at the Charlotte Grand Prix. He will swim the 100-meter butterfly and 200 freestyle on Friday.

For now, results aren’t that important. Phelps is mainly concerned with getting back into the peak physical condition that helped him become the most decorated athlete in Olympic history.

But he still yearns to touch the wall first, insisting it would be a mistake to think his desire to enjoy things more this time around means he cares less about winning.